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Showing posts from March, 2010

Special Exposure Wednesday: Missing Easter

This weekend will be the first time I will miss a holiday with the kids. I am going away with my mom and sister to celebrate my mom turning 60. This is a photo of Ben from last year - Easter morning, dressed in his new shirt and ready to find eggs in the yard. I just hope the Easter Bunny remembers to visit our house this year...

Toilet Training - 6 months later

 In September I wrote about our journey to the world of toilet training. At the point of writing the post, we were about 6 days into it. Now we are at the 6 month mark - which is cause for celebration, or at least a reason to buy some new Spidey underwear! Ben is doing fabulous at home and at school with toilet training. He is proud of himself, we are proud of ourselves and we only see progress ahead. That's not to say there are setbacks, which are usually caused by us not being on a consistent schedule with Ben.   Big Mack Button In the last months, we introduced a Big Mack button to try to help Ben communicate his toileting needs to us. Before Ben sits on his potty, he pushes the button and the recording says, "I have to go to the bathroom." Ben's school has been extremely supportive with our efforts to train Ben. At Ben's IEP meeting, the school agreed to use the same button, wording and process each time he used the bathroom. It is working! On a few o

Magic Marker Monday: It's Bunny Season

  Ben, Logan and Sean made these bunnies last year at the YMCA. It was nice to pull them out with our Easter decorations - I'd forgotten all about them. Bunnies are made with stuffed athletic socks,and then decorated with ribbon, markers, pom-poms, googly eyes and stiff thread for the whiskers.

Copper River Bridge Run Nostalgia

This weekend is the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC. When I last did the race, I walked the 6.2 miles with a few friends. That was in 1995. I have been trying to get back to this race for 15 years, but my job responsibilities interfered and then when I was not working anymore, I was pregnant, between pregnancies or just not physically able to do it. This year I made a promise to myself that I would do it. Over 38,000 people are participating, and I will be one of them. In my moment of reminiscing about the past, I found these photos from 15 years ago... I am on the far right. About 9,000 people participated in 1995. Thanks for humoring me. Just in case you are interested in the history of the race: History of the Bridge

Let's Do Lunch, Please!

I know my worth as a mother is closely tied to making lunch for school for my children. Ben is on a set schedule - Monday and Thursday he buys lunch in the cafeteria, all other days, he packs a lunch. We have a good system - Ben gets some variety, I get a break two days a week, but get my mothering needs met. My middle son, Logan, started full day school this year. At first he was adamant that he would not buy lunch - the whole process is intimidating and the food is a bit questionable. Since August, I have packed his lunch. And happy to do so. Two weeks ago, Logan came home and announced that he wanted to buy lunch. It was more fun and gave him more play time (still not sure what he meant by that - but in the mind of a four-year old, it made sense). So for the past two weeks, he's bought his lunch. I bit my tongue trying not to persuade him. In my head, I kept repeating that age old saying about, "If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it is yours.


Ben and his friend have known each other for a few years through seeing each other at the park. This child always makes a point of asking about Ben when he's not around or saying hello when he is.  

I Love Lucy Project

I am always amazed to hear about parents, in the middle of caring for a child with medical or other special needs, who are able to pull together something so wonderful like an amusement park, a signing program or raise money to cure a disease. Rather than wallow in their own issues, they find ways to reach out to others and make a difference in not just their own child's life, but many others as well. They face the challenges of life head on - helping us all gain perspective on our lives and develop confidence in what we do. This is a lovely story about a family: I Love Lucy Project . Please check it out. This is also a link to a "sneak peak" from their book, "A Mother's Book of Secrets."

Magic Marker Monday: Last of the Snow

Ben, Age 6 The snowmen are made with cotton balls, yarn, googly eyes and foam noses. The background snow is paint and glitter. Go see other works of art: 5 Minutes for Special Needs

Own Domain

I took a big step today and purchased the domain for . I was playing around with settings and such and saw that my own domain could be purchased if the name was not being used. I thought I would at least see if it was available...and then see if the price was within my non-existent blog budget. Alas, was available and it was $10 for the year to purchase - definitely within my budget. So it became a done deal within minutes. Nothing should change - if you receive this by email, your subscription should be just fine. The old address will direct you to this new one. Perhaps my head will get bigger, you know, owning my own domain and all. I will try to keep it in perspective...tomorrow. Today I will bask in the glory that I own a part (albeit a very small part) of the world wide web. Tomorrow, I will be annoyed that had I not used Google as a middle-man, I could have paid $7.49 directly to !

Today - We are all Irish!

This was sent to me by my stepfather. The words are beautiful, the meaning significant.  This put me in a thoughtful place.     CELTIC BLESSING (author unknown - translated by Charles Mitchell)   ********** "I wish you not a path devoid of clouds, Nor a life on a bed of roses, not that you might never need regret, nor that you should never feel pain. No, that is not my wish for you. My wish for you is: That you might be brave in times of trial, when others lay crosses upon your shoulders. When mountains must be climbed, and chasms are to be crossed. When hope can scarce shine through. That your gift God gave you Might grow along with you and let you give the gift of joy to all who care for you. That you may always have a friend who is worth that name. Whom you can trust, and who helps you in times of sadness. Who will defy the storms of daily life at your side. One more wish I have for you that in every hour of joy and pain you may feel God close to you. This is my

Special Exposure Wednesday: Visit with Uncle Brian

Uncle Brian visited from NY last week. He went to lunch at Ben's school -  and having visitors made Ben a little too excited to eat. Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Stop - Danger!

You may recall that Ben had an accident a couple of months ago - he pulled a TV and table down on himself. Luckily, he was fine - cannot say the same for the TV though. Since then, we have made changes in the house and researched ideas on how to make areas safer for Ben. Our biggest concerns are the stove top and TV areas. After discussing with the OT and Speech Therapist, they came up with a plan to show Ben that he is not to touch the stove and TV. Ben's speech therapist made the sign above based on a Boardmaker picture. During their co-treatment sessions, they work on helping him to understand that he may not touch the area near the sign. Ideally, as we feel more comfortable with his understanding, we will move to a smaller sign. (Or I get tired of the huge sign hanging in front of my oven - whichever happens first.) The sign works if we are in the room with Ben and able to say, "No touching!" He actually listens and moves away. I do not trust that it works if he

Magic Marker Monday: Caterpillar

Grandma's birthday is coming up and Ben made a  Caterpillar Birthday Card to send.

Amazing Race - Postponed

An email just arrived informing us that Amazing Race is being rescheduled for the fall due to low registration. I was looking forward to it, but now I have more time to study my Charlotte trivia. I may also volunteer to help publicize this event because I do think it has the potential for being successful in terms of raising scholarship funds and awareness about the camp itself. For those of you who sent in donations, first of all - thank you so very much! Secondly, I have emailed the organization to see what to do about the donations I have received. Most likely, I will send the checks back to individual donors. Thank you all for your help with this and I will keep you updated about the new date.

Magic Marker Monday: Branching Out

 Ben, age 6 1/2 Not just an ordinary painted tree. First, tape is added for the branch effect. Second, paint over the tape and finally, pull the tape off. Pretty cool! Check out other works of art at Magic Marker Monday .

Amazing Race

Ben's summer camp, coordinated through the Therapeutic Recreation Division of the county park service is planning a fundraiser called Amazing Race , based on the reality TV show . Teams of two will compete on Saturday, March 20, for a trophy.  Being a person who lives on the edge, I signed up right away. My teammate and I will solve challenging puzzles, find crazy hidden messages and possibly eat dead worms - I made that last part up (I hope).  We do have to know our local history. Our starting time for the day of the event is based on our score on a trivia contest a few days before the race. On the day of the race, we have to walk and run to get to each location. No cars, bicycles, mopeds or public transportation allowed. No mention of brooms, though. Ben has attended this camp for the past three years on scholarship. It is a wonderful camp offering really cool weekly field trips to amusement parks, zoos, and Monkey Joe's .  Each group goes swimming at a special zero entr

Special Exposure Wednesday: Good Idea at the Time

 "My Three Sweet Flower Girls" Check out other Special Exposure Wednesday Photos .

Make for the Hills

Why the Challenge? In my effort to turn 40 this year as a healthy, less stressed and fit woman, wife and mom, I challenged myself to run a race a month this year. I was inspired by another mom blogger who wrote about skipping her own doctor's appointments, gaining weight, eating poorly and then finally realizing that putting her own health in jeopardy was dangerous business for her entire family. I hope to spread this inspiration to other parents who may need to challenge themselves to take better care of their health. This can translate to mean more time with friends, reading a favorite book at the coffee shop alone, taking hikes or enrolling in a cooking class. The challenge for parents is to put themselves before their families once in awhile to enjoy something without feeling guilty, anxious or regretful. Race Update I finished my second race, a 5K at UNC Charlotte .  It was a tough one because of the hills. I expected them, but had not trained well for them. My trainer

Magic Marker Monday: Photo Placemats

  Since Ben was born, I have taken advantage of the photo studios with the low price package specials. They usually include a 10"x13" enlargement. Not knowing what to do with such a large photo, I decided to laminate them to be used as placemats.  The kids love to use these placemats because it is fun for them to see themselves as babies. It is a great way to keep the photos preserved. We also play the game, Whose that baby? The Halloween photo is the most confusing because they are all wearing the same pumpkin outfit. The lamination was done at Office Max , costs no more than $3. Use their largest size, do not cut it down. Be sure to put the child's name, age and year the photo was taken on the back in permanent marker before lamination.  An 8"x10" photo may be used also - in fact the second placemat has the smaller photo. When the kids get older, I will allow them to use wipe-off markers to "decorate" the photos adding mustaches, spiky hair and